AS THE refugee crisis in Syria worsens, the UK Government has
revealed that it has allowed only 24 Syrian asylum-seekers to enter
In answer to a written question from the MP Keith Vaz, the Home
Office Minister James Brokenshire said that 24 Syrians had arrived
under a relocation scheme: the first group in March, and the second
He said that he envisaged that "several hundred" would be
allowed into the UK over the next three years. In contrast, Germany
has pledged to take in 20,000 refugees by the end of this year.
The Refugee Council said that it was "disappointing . . . that
the UK has so far yet to offer enough resettlement places to fill a
bus, when we should be offering entire planeloads of seats to
The Government was forced into a U-turn on the issue at the
beginning of the year, saying that it would, after all, accept some
Syrian refugees, although it is still refusing to take part in the
UNHCR's sanctuary scheme, which sends refugees on a quota system.
The UK, however, has been one of the most generous aid donors to
The Syrian refugee crisis is the biggest in the world, the UN
Refugee Agency reports. About 2.8 million Syrians are registered as
refugees. Lebanon has borne the brunt of the exodus - it has 1.1
million refugees, meaning that a quarter of the country's
population is now Syrian. A further 783,000 refugees have fled to
Turkey, and 600,000 to Jordan.
The Christian children's charity Global Care is working in
refugee camps in Lebanon, and is supporting a school, to enable
children - some of whom have lost yearsof schooling - to return to
the classroom. "If they don't start receiving some kind of
education soon, a whole generation of Syrian children will be
disadvantaged for life," the charity's CEO, John White, said.
Many of the children who have fled are being forced to go out to
work. In Lebanon, children have found employment working in the
fields - they are cheaper to employ than their parents.
The charity Tearfund has given cards, handmade by British
children, to Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. The cards have
messages saying: "We are praying for you."